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Tracking the College Hoops Stars of the Future

Basketball Recruiting Report
Sunday, February 17, 2002

By Thad Mumau
Special Correspondent

C-USA Schools Mine Talent from Juco Ranks


On first glance, Conference USA has not fared all that well when it comes to recruiting basketball players this school year. Upon further investigation, however, the collective future of the league actually looks pretty good.

The reason for the rosy outlook is a rich haul of junior college players, with four of the top 10 juco sophomores in the nation choosing schools from Conference USA. Therefore, despite the fact that the league signed just nine of the top 100 high school seniors, there will be a healthy influx of talent next season.

Not a single prep prospect from's Top 25 signed with a Conference USA team during November’s early signing week, and only two from the top 50 will be joining the league.

In comparison, the Atlantic Coast Conference landed 20 top-100 performers in the fall and signed nine from the top 25. Still, C-USA enjoyed more recruiting success than most of the Division I leagues. The ACC has the best 2002 class in the country, followed by the Southeastern, Big Ten and Big East, with Conference USA’s newcomers ranked No. 5.

The highest ranked Conference USA signee is Jeremy Hunt (No. 44), a 6-4 wing guard from Memphis (TN) Craigmont, who not surprisingly chose Memphis. The other top-50 addition to the league is point guard Chadd Moore (No. 50) of Mouth of Wilson (VA) Oak Hill Academy. He is headed for Cincinnati.

Others from the top 100 to sign letters of intent with C-USA schools include 6-3 wing guard Taquan Dean (No. 57) of Neptune (NJ) High School, with Louisville; 6-7 small forward Francisco Garcia (No. 59) of Winchendon (MA) School, with Louisville; 6-9 power forward Steve Novak (No. 61) of Brown Deer (WI) High, with Marquette; 6-8 power forward Yusef Baker (No. 69) of Orlando (FL) Evans, with South Florida; 6-7 power forward Curtis Withers (No. 75) of Charlotte (NC) West, with Charlotte; 6-5 combination guard Vincent Grier (No. 96) of Raleigh (NC) Bonner Academy, with Charlotte; and 6-5 small forward/power forward Eric Hicks (No. 98) of Greensboro (NC) Dudley, with Cincinnati.

The top two classes in the league belong to former NBA coaches Rick Pitino of Louisville and John Calipari of Memphis.

Led by 6-9 juco star Kendall Dartez, Dean and Garcia, Louisville put together the best recruiting class in the conference. Pitino is also bringing in 6-10 transfer Marvin Stone. Making his addition even sweeter for the Cardinals is the fact that he left the Kentucky Wildcats.

Not far behind is Memphis, which also landed a big junior college name in 6-8 combo forward Qyntel Woods. Cincinnati’s haul includes Tony Bobbitt, still another juco prize, who signed with Florida State out of high school but did not qualify academically. Bobbitt, who did not sign in November, committed to the Bearcats and plans to sign in April.

Charlotte and DePaul round out the top five classes in the league, with South Florida and Marquette not far behind.

Woods, from Moberly Area (MO) Junior College, is the No. 3 juco sophomore in the country, according to Dartez, from Vincennes (IN) JC, is No. 5; Bobbitt, who is at College of Southern Idaho, is No. 9; and Delonte Holland, a 6-5 swing player from Vincennes JC, is No. 10. Holland is headed to DePaul.

East Carolina’s lone addition so far is Corey Rouse. He is a 6-7 small forward from Kinston (NC) High School. Rouse is not ranked among the top 200 seniors in the nation.

Pirates coach Bill Herrion has four scholarships available for the spring signing period.

Texas Christian was the only school in the conference that did not sign anyone during the fall signing period.

Following is a team-by-team list of the 32 basketball prospects landed by Conference USA:

Team No. of Recruits Name Height Position Hometown/
Former School
ALABAMA-BIRMINGHAM 1 Derrick Broom 6-4 WG/SF Cartersville (GA) Woodland
CHARLOTTE 2 Curtis Withers 6-7 PF Charlotte (NC) West
Vincent Grier 6-5 WG/PG Raleigh (NC) Bonner Academy
CINCINNATI 4 Chadd Moore 6-2 PG Mouth of Wilson (VA) Oak Hill Academy
Eric Hicks 6-5 SF/PF Greensboro (NC) Dudley
Armein Kirkland 6-8 SF Tyler (TX) Lee
Tony Bobbitt 6-4 WG College of Southern Idaho JC
DePAUL 3 Marcus White 6-8 PF Chicago (IL) Young
Delonte Holland 6-5 WG/SF Vincennes (IN) JC
William Watson 6-0 PG Tyler (TX) JC
EAST CAROLINA 1 Corey Rouse 6-7 SF Kinston (NC) High
HOUSTON 3 Cedrick Hensley 6-4 WG/SF Houston (TX) Heritage Christian
Dwight Jones 6-1 PG Houston (TX) Klein
Anwar Ferguson 7-0 C Lee (TX) JC
LOUISVILLE 4 Taquan Dean 6-3 WG Neptune (NJ) High
Francisco Garcia 6-7 SF Winchendon (MA) School
Kendall Dartez 6-9 PF Vincennes (IN) JC
Marvin Stone 6-10 PF/C transfer from Kentucky
MARQUETTE 3 Steve Novak 6-9 PF Brown Deer (WI) High
Chris Grimm 6-9 C Brighton (MI) High
Joe Chapman 6-2 WG Chicago Heights (IL) Bloom
MEMPHIS 4 Jeremy Hunt 6-4 WG Memphis (TN) Craigmont
Almany Thiero 6-7 PF/SF Durham (NC) Mount Zion Christian Academy
Qyntel Woods 6-8 PF/SF Moberly Area (MO) JC
Billy Richmond 6-5 WG/SF transfer from Vanderbilt
SOUTH FLORIDA 3 Yusef Baker 6-8 PF Orlando (FL) Evans
Sam Barber 6-5 WG/SF Lake Worth (FL) High
Dan Oglesby 6-1 PG Hamden (CT) High
SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI 1 Geoffrey Brown 6-10 C Sheridan (WY) JC
ST. LOUIS 2 Nicholas Kern 6-8 PF St. Louis (MO) Vashon
Ryan Hollins 6-11 C Pasadena (CA) Muir
TEXAS CHRISTIAN 0 n/a n/a n/a n/a
TULANE 1 Derek Burditt 6-7 SF/PF Marrero (LA) Ehret

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02/23/2007 02:39:36 PM

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